As you can see I am back home again. Having some time to write. This will probably be the last newsletter of 2014. But then you just had four of them in a row.
This is about our trip to Bretagne. Where Franklin had to attend a seminar by Annie Sloan. The woman who is selling that wonderful, biological, magical paint all over the world, including in Joke’s and Franklin’s shop ‘Renaissance’ in Quillan.
It was good to travel together. For it was over 900 kilometers. And during the time that Franklin was studying paint, I was studying churches, cathedrals, Black Madonna’s, Notre Dame’s, magic places, menhirs and dolmens. You could say it was a MM & MM trip, a Mary Magdalene and Megalith Menhirs trip. So dear friends, please enjoy!
Dinard and St Malo
The seminar took place in one of the rooms of the casino in Dinard. We arrived late in the afternoon and had just time, after checking into the hotel, to walk to the coast. The rocky coast of North Bretagne, famous for its running tides, its rocks, its seafood and its lighthouses. Every year a huge film festival is held In Dinard. It is the place where they physically honor the famous Alfred Hitchcock and his film ‘The Birds!’
Next morning I visited the church of Dinard. Situated at a lovely spot, overlooking the bay. Then on to St Malo. That was a big surprise. It is huge. With many harbors, lots of ships and the completely walled old town built on a peninsula far into the sea. Magic. The old cathedral in the walled town was beautiful. And how about this big ship with the fierce lady on the bow?
01 The beach of Dinard.jpg
04 Hitchcock with his birds.jpg
05 ND of Dinard.jpg
06 Harbour of St Malo.jpg
07 Port of St Malo.jpg
08 ND de la Grande Porte, St Malo.jpg
09 de la consolation Cathedral of St Malo.jpg
10 What a ship!.jpg
Dol de Bretagne, the menhir of Camp Dolent, the city of Rennes and La Roche aux Fees.
The cathedral of Dol de Bretagne was for a long time the mean seat of the archbishops of Bretagne. More than 80 bishops occupied this episcopal seat. It is one of the most important buildings of Bretagne. The origins go back to Saint Samson who visited the place in the 6th century. It is a very impressive cathedral with beautiful stained glass windows, with a Notre Dame and, in my view, a Black Madonna, with pictures of Jesus and Mary Magdalene and a strange granite boat in front of the cathedral. Close by was one of the largest menhirs in France, the Menhir of Camp Dolent. Again, impressive.
Going south I got stuck in the traffic in Rennes, so I took the opportunity to visit its cathedral. Again with some beautiful Notre Dame’s and a beautiful painting of Mary Magdalene. My final goal was the ‘Roche aux Fees’ the largest dolmen in France. Situated between Esse and Retiers. What a magic place. It was huge, the stones were huge, the sight was awesome. It was located on a small hill and was surrounded by wild chestnut trees. The trees seemed to ‘blossom’ in that place. There were thousands of beautiful chestnuts on the ground, waiting to be picked. It must have been the energy of the place.
11 Cathedral of Dol de Bretagne.jpg
12 Granite boat.jpg
13 MM in Dol de Bretagne.jpg
14 Mary and Martha.jpg
15 Washing his feet.jpg
16 The last supper.jpg
17 A different picture of Jesus.jpg
18 Virgin with child.jpg
19 ND or Black Madonna.jpg
20 MM above the entrance.jpg
21 Menhir de Camp Dolent.jpg
22 Cathedral of Rennes.jpg
23 MM in Rennes.jpg
24 ND de Rennes.jpg
25 La Roche aux Fees.jpg
26 Inside le Roche.jpg
27 Huge stones.jpg
Menhirs de Monteneuf, St Brieuc, Guingamp, Pleyben
The next day I decided to go west. After a wonderful breakfast. And then, advised by my lovely B & B hosts, to the menhirs of Monteneuf. Passing through the magic woods around Paimpont. Monteneuf was incredible. I have never seen so many different shaped menhirs, not even in Avebury. Huge stones standing together. Flat stones on the grounds. Various rows of stones, it was pure magic. And I was there all alone. So special. This is a place where I will go back to, one day.
Then heading west. Paying a short visit to the cathedral in St Brieuc, but the were doing an extensive and noisy renovation job, so I left early. Up to Guingamp with its famous basilica dedicated to the Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours. Another magic experience. Built in the 11th century it houses many treasures. Among others a labyrinth in the porch and a beautiful Black Madonna, even though she was called the Notre Dame de Bon Secours. And also a statue of Ste Anne, protecting the children of the world. Ste Anne is for many people in Bretagne what a Black Madonna is for us.
Then even further west, but it was worthwhile, to the city of Pleyben. A famous pilgrim site. With a huge church with three towers, a Calvary, an Ossuary and several chapels in the area, including one dedicated to Mary Magdalene. Beautiful statues outside and beautiful statues inside. But what really struck me were the statues of the 12 apostles in the porch, six on the left and six on the right. On the right I could clearly see a woman, Mary Magdalene. Young face, uncovered hair, no beard and carrying a cup. What more do you want? But no way, in the booklet about the church, written by Guy Leclerc and called ‘Pleyben, son enclose et ses chapelles,’ this person was labelled ‘Jean.’ Well, see for yourself. But is not’t it wonderful that here, far away from Rome and Parish, some people had the guts to erect a statue of Mary Magdalene in the place where she belongs, among the other apostles. For she was, after all, “The Apostle of the Apostles.”
28 Breakfast in my lovely B & B.jpg
29 The magic Paimpont area.jpg
30 Magic, you can feel it.jpg
31 Trees growing out of a house.jpg
32 The menhirs of Monteneuf.jpg
33 Huge, impressive.jpg
34 Various lines and seizes.jpg
35 Truly magic.jpg
36 Cathedral of St Brieuc.jpg
37 Strange crucifixion scene.jpg
38 ND de Bon Secours.jpg
39 Again the ND de Bon Secours or Black Madonna.jpg
40 Who is Crowning Who.jpg
41 Jesus laid down.jpg
42 Mary anointing his feet.jpg
43 Ste Anne, the Black Madonna of Brittany.jpg
44 Church of Pleyben.jpg
45 ND de Pleyben.jpg
46 Inside the church.jpg
47 Apostels on the left.jpg
48 Apostels on the right.jpg
49 Clearly Mary Magdalene.jpg
Mont St Michel, Paimpont, Broceliande and Dol de Bretagne.
The last day was reserved for loading a huge amount of paint in Dol de Bretagne and visiting, again, its cathedral. Then going to the famous Mont St Michel and, if we had time, visit the magic woods of Broceliande. And so we did.
We loaded the car with paint and visited the cathedral. This time paying special attention to the granite ship in front of the cathedral. According to a note fixed to the site this boat had actually been in the water. Three times even. And look at the figures carved on the inside of the boat. Three on the left and three on the right. We could find no explanation for this curious phenomenon. I tried to pull the boat away but alas it was a little too heavy.
Mont St Michel was impressive as ever. It was not very busy but there were hundreds of Japanese tourists. We visited the little chapel on the way up. And next the cathedral with its many, huge rooms. And its beautiful Black Madonna, one of my favorites.
At the end of the day, after buying some excellent calvados, we made it to Paimpont. And visited its abbey. And started our tour around the abbey, visiting the tomb of Merlin, the castle of king Arthur, the lake where Viviane lived and the Grail Church in Trehorenteuc. The church and the tourist office were closed, but we could still feel the energy of the place.
50 Mont St Michel.jpg
51 High and mighty.jpg
52 ND in the little chapel.jpg
53 The cloister.jpg
54 The Black Madonna.jpg
55 The Grail church.jpg
56 Painting on the Tourist office.jpg
57 My favourite calvados shop.jpg
58 Inside the Dol de Bretagne.jpg
59 Three Maries in the boat.jpg
60 And who are they.jpg
61 Steady pull.jpg
62 Touching stone.jpg
63 Annie Sloan paint.jpg
64 A full house!.jpg